Thailand shares scale 5-month high; recovery hopes lift Singapore

  • Markets
  • Monday, 23 Nov 2020

Not business as usual: Singapore has slipped from the top spot of the list of costliest cities, with the coronavirus pandemic impacting spending habits all over the world. — Bloomberg

SINGAPORE: Thailand shares climbed nearly 2% to hit their highest in more than five months on Monday, leading broader gains in emerging Asian stock markets, while Singapore stocks were lifted by better-than-expected third-quarter GDP numbers.

Tourism-reliant Thai shares were boosted after AstraZeneca said tests showed its COVID-19 vaccine could be 90% effective, adding to a slew of positive developments on vaccines which have improved the mood of investors globally.

Bangkok has suffered more than most this year as holiday-making globally ground to a halt and the slide into global recession ate into demand for its exports, meaning it may now be among those to benefit more from a recovery.

Analysts also said that new measures unveiled by the Thai central bank aimed at balancing capital flows after warning a rapid jump in the baht may have limited impact on foreign investors.

"Foreign investors could view that the recent FX measures from the Bank of Thailand seem to be less effective in term of changing the direction of Thai Baht which would hurt the return for foreign investors," said Poon Panichpibool, a markets strategist at Krung Thai Bank.

"Thus, stronger THB trend will continue and still benefit foreign investors whether they invest in Thai equities or bonds."

However, risks from political uncertainty remain and investors should be prepared for any short-term volatility, he warned, as protests in Bangkok continued on Saturday, with calls to bring down the government and reform the monarchy.

Singapore shares climbed more than 1% to hit their highest since March 11 as data showed the city-state's economy contracted less than initially estimated in the third quarter and the government forecast it would bounce back to growth next year.

Singapore Airlines and in-flight catering service provider SATS Ltd, however, fell over 1% each as the introduction of a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore was postponed for two weeks.

Most currencies in the region were subdued, as China's yuan edged lower against the dollar on signs of fresh tensions between Beijing and Washington. Japanese stock markets were closed for a holiday. - Reuters

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